• MP praises police after night on patrol

    CONSERVATIVE MP James Duddridge admits he was pleasantly surprised by what he found when he joined police on patrol in Great Wakering. Rochford and Southend East MP Mr Duddridge asked to go out with officers because he feared the merger between Southend

  • Snappy Scrappy bites cliff rescuer

    A JACK Russell from Canvey was forced to spend three hours on a steep cliff face after biting the hands of a would-be rescuer. Coastguard Gary Coles needed emergency treatment at hospital after the incident at Littleham Cove Sandy Bay near Exmouth.

  • Trio face jail for unprovoked beating

    THREE men face jail after being convicted of beating up a group of revellers in an unprovoked attack. Lee Nicholls, 21, Brett Jarman, 21, and Bradley Carpenter, 19, set upon Michael Astley and James King shortly after they crossed paths in High Street

  • We must stop these mothers-to-be dying

    A RETIRED science teacher from Billericay says more must be done to stop women dying in childbirth in poverty-stricken Chad. Colin Kidner, of Crown Road has just returned from the country, in central Africa, where he has been working to support two maternity

  • Vikings drop by to thank Jan and Roy

    THREE comrade-in-arms from the same Basildon street have praised local shopkeepers who organised 100 food packages for troops in Afghanistan. Privates Ben Roberts, 26, Simon Peacock, 22, and Danny Slade, 27, all come from Whitmore Way and yesterday they

  • Fears grow for missing patient

    POLICE are growing increasingly concerned for the welfare of a man missing for nearly five weeks. Derek Watson, 44, went missing from Basildon Hospital, where he was an in-patient, on Friday, July 20. Since then, there has only been one sighting of

  • Badger sign thieves put drivers at risk

    VANDALS who have repeatedly stolen badger warning signs from the A127 are putting motorists' lives at risk, according to a group which fights to protect the animals. Signs warning drivers there may be badgers crossing the busy dual carriageway were put

  • Are missing paedophiles in Essex?

    DETECTIVES are hunting two sex offenders who pose a serious risk to children and are believed to have links to Essex. William Bailey, 58, and Joseph Taylor, 27, who were recently released from prison, absconded from addresses in Rotherham and York on

  • Security guard threatened in hold-up

    A SECURITY guard was threatened by gunmen and robbed of thousands of pounds. The victim was delivering a cash box to Barclays Bank in Broadway North, Pitsea, when he was confronted in the street by two raiders armed with handguns. They forced him

  • Mum heartbroken as Ryan’s grave is vandalised

    THE mum of a boy killed in a fight has spoken of her heartbreak after vandals attacked his grave. Last week, the Echo told how yobs caused £750 damage after trying to remove a marble football from the headstone of Ryan Daly. Mum Angela, 47, said the

  • Granny, 53, guilty of benefits fraud

    A GRANNY claimed thousands of pounds in benefits - despite having £172,000 stashed in a bank. Irish traveller Gail Doran, 53, could be stripped of cash, property and vehicles after pleading guilty to falsely claiming benefits for five years. The grandmother-of-ten

  • Holly will sniff out drugs at V

    MOVE over Glastonbury because Chelmsford is about to be gripped by V fever. On Saturday, an estimated 150,000 music lovers will descend on Hylands Park for the annual V Festival, and police have vowed to crack down on troublemakers. Highly-trained

  • Herpes outbreak shuts Canvey Lake

    POPULAR Canvey Lake has been declared a no go area for anglers after it emerged fish are being wiped out by a devastating herpes virus. The Island's two-mile-long lake has been closed to anglers - and could remain shut for a year - after scores of dead

  • Countdown at Barn Hall

    THE fight to stop a beauty spot being covered in homes has become a race against time. Around 200 residents packed a public meeting at Barn Hall Community Centre in Alderney Gardens, Wickford, to hear they have just two weeks left to object to proposals

  • Drug factory men 'victims of slavery'

    A JUDGE showed mercy on two young Vietnamese men who admitted running a drugs factory - because he was convinced they were victims of "modern slavery". Judge Christopher Mitchell delayed sentencing Long Tran, 20, and a 16-year-old youth, who admitted

  • Blues stadium: Plans scaled down

    SOUTHEND United have radically reduced the number of flats and shopping space planned for the new 22,000-seater stadium site at Fossetts Farm. The club are now asking to build 67 flats instead of 127, have reduced the amount of retail floorspace from

  • Arsonists force comic Carr off stage

    COMIC Jimmy Carr led an evacuation of more than 700 fans after arsonists struck during his set. Yobs stacked rubbish against the exit door near the stage, and set it alight, forcing four off-duty firefighters sitting in the audience to spring into action

  • Cancer cyclist's second marathon challenge

    A DETERMINED cyclist is to bike his way from John O'Groats to Land's End - despite undergoing treatment for cancer. John Drury, of Medway Crescent, Leigh, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease in 1999, just two years before he completed the challenge

  • Youngsters shine – but not sun

    THE sudden surge of wet weather didn't dampen revellers' spirits at Southend Carnival's children's competition event, held at Prittlewell Priory Museum. Youngsters aged three to seven turned up in suits and party frocks for the popular annual contest

  • Block would be in keeping, inquiry told

    A BLOCK of flats planned in the heart of Leigh would be sympathetic to the landmark Grand Hotel, developers told a planning inquiry. Councillors originally rejected proposals for the 14 flats in the former Midel building in Leigh Broadway because they

  • Sneak thief swipes bags from salon

    A BOLD crook breezed into a hair salon and escaped with a £500 haul of cash, phones, car keys - including a stylist's passport. The thief sneaked into the staff room of Jigsaw Hair Studio in Main Road, Rayleigh and swiped three handbags. Sometime over

  • Anger as flytippers strike again

    FLYTIPPERS have dumped building materials on farmland again, days after the council spent £500 removing junk from the same site. A pile of building materials, including a broken sink, was left on land off a dirt track near the Sadlers Farm roundabout

  • Council won’t remove graffiti at club

    A VANDAL-plagued social club in Canvey could remain covered in graffiti after the council refused to clean it off - because it isn't "racist or rude". Pensioners who use the Women's Royal Voluntary Service club, based on the George V playing field in

  • Mum heartbroken as grave vandalised

    THE mum of a boy killed in a fight has spoken of her heartbreak after vandals attacked his grave. Last week, the Echo told how yobs caused £750 damage after trying to remove a marble football from the headstone of Ryan Daly. Mum Angela, 47, said the

  • Fresh appeal over A13 crash

    POLICE investigating a crash in which a mum died trying to retrieve a mattress from the road have reappealed for help. Laveen Stanley was on the Lakeside turn off leaving the London-bound track of the A13 when the mattress blew off from the roof of

  • Policewoman cleared of assault

    A WOMAN police officer has been cleared of assault and criminal damage at a riding stables on Canvey. PC Wendy Eydman, 31, was accused of punching Denise Burry and kicking her car at Brick House Farm on September 2, last year. They both had horses at

  • Sign of the times

    PEOPLE will steal anything these days. Even badger signs. No less than three sets of badger warning notices have been filched from the A127. The theft is potentially disastrous for badgers and motorists alike, but who could possibly benefit? It looks

  • Finessing Fossetts Farm plan

    SOUTHEND United's journey towards getting its new Fossetts Farm stadium has seen thrills and spills aplenty - and it's not over yet. In an extraordinary move, on the eve of the public inquiry into the scheme, the club has suddenly and drastically reduced

  • Anger at plan to cut down trees

    RAIL bosses have vowed to chop down trees alongside a rail track in Stanford-le-Hope. The move has sparked fury among campaigners and wildlife groups who wanted the trees, which form a screen between the line and houses on the Homesteads estate, to be

  • Driver who died of a heart attack named

    A PENSIONER who died at the wheel of his car has been named. James Sutton, 78, of Oak Avenue, Wickford, was driving on the London-bound track of the A13 between the Five Bells roundabout and the Corringham sliproad when he suffered a heart attack. He

  • It’s a reality: We’re the big thing on TV

    SOUTH Essex is rapidly becoming the reality TV capital of Britain. You can hardly turn on the television these days without coming across a local hopeful trying to win over the nation's hearts. This year's favourite to win Big Brother, Brian Belo, 20

  • Hindsight is wonderful, life with travellers is not

    I have been unfortunate enough to live in Hovefields Drive, Wickford, for the past eight years and during that time, an invasion of travellers has caused nothing but problems, with sheer disregard for the settled community and the law of this country.

  • Sirens are there for a reason

    I would like to comment, as a retired fireman, on a letter from R Gibson concerning the noise made by the emergency vechiles. I agree we do hear more two-tone noise and it is louder. But we should all think about why. Every year there are more calls

  • Business on the deck

    TRADITIONAL Southend seafront trades have been hit hard by a glum summer. Essex has suffered its wettest summer for nearly 20 years, with 75mm of rainfall lashing the county. Deck chair hire has been down by nearly 60 per cent. Ice cream sales have

  • Pool open at last

    IT'S finally safe for swimmers on Canvey to go back in the water. The pool at Waterside Farm Sports Centre reopened its doors to the public after eight months of closure. Castle Point's mayor Beverley Egan and Wendy Goodwin, chairman of the community

  • Raid on homeless charity

    thieves broke into a struggling charity day centre and stole hundreds of pounds, set aside to buy food for the homeless. The crooks escaped with two locked petty cash boxes containing £350, after breaking into the Homeless Action Resource Project in

  • Teen’s walk of courage

    A BRAVE teenage stroke survivor plans to walk the length of Southend Pier to raise funds for a specialist hospital ward. Elise Bresnihan, 15, was initially unable to breath without a ventilator, or speak, and was paralysed down her right side, after

  • Councillors advised to avoid firm’s reception

    SOUTHEND councillors were warned not to attend a developer's champagne celebration because it could affect their judgment on other applications. Borough solicitor John Williams sent an e-mail to councillors on the development control committee advising

  • Make a Date (Aug 16 - 22)

    Thursday, August 16 Ballroom Dancing. Newcomers, particularly single people, welcome. Music/dancing to suit everyone. Come and make friends. 8-10.30pm. Lourdes Hall, Marguerite Drive, Leigh. 01702 475452 Table in Outpatients' Department of Southend

  • Make a Date (Aug 16 - Aug 22)

    Thursday, August 16 Ballroom Dancing. Newcomers, particularly single people, welcome. Music/dancing to suit everyone. Come and make friends. 8-10.30pm. Lourdes Hall, Marguerite Drive, Leigh. 01702 475452 Table in Outpatients' Department of Southend

  • Wickford: Exhibition

    AN arts and crafts exhibition and sale will be held at Christ Church, next to Somerfield, off High Street, on Saturday. All the work will be by local artists and entry is free. The event will take place from 9.30am to 2pm. For more information call

  • Trio go carp crazy with massive haul

    BROTHERS John and Michael Ling teamed up with pal Matt Bennett to take a tremendous 42-carp haul at Basildon's Gloucester Park Lake. Their catch, which included numerous double-figure specimens, was taken during a week when hot weather, algae bloom

  • New boy Lewis is all ready for action

    SOUTHEND Rugby Club's new fly half Dafydd Lewis believes survival will be the name of the game for the Seasiders this season. The 26-year-old, who has just joined from Cambridge, knows life will be tough for the Seasiders in National League Two.

  • Concord hit four in Cup win

    HAVING scored six in their Essex Senior League opener on Sunday, Canvey's Concord Rangers were on the goal trail again last night, beating Hullbridge Sports 4-0 in Group B of the League Cup. Goals came from Nicky Cowley and Michael Begg before Chris

  • How any old iron is a target for thieves

    FEW would have thought a shortage of raw materials like copper and iron in the Far East would lead to a crime spree on the streets of south Essex. But, in recent months, that is exactly what has happened with crooks staging elaborate thefts across Basildon

  • Old radios may share a home with Saxon king's treasure

    A NATIONAL museum dedicated to one of south Essex's best-known companies is being planned by Southend Council. Electrical company E K Cole - better known as Ekco - produced radios, televisions and other electrical appliances in its factory in Priory

  • Police hunt hammer attacker

    DETECTIVES have released this efit of a man they believe attacked a dog walker with a hammer. The 46-year-old victim was left with head injuries and spent a week in Queen's Hospital, Romford. She was released on Monday. The woman was walking her white

  • Billericay: Elvis night

    THE Lions Club of Billericay will enjoy an Elvis tribute night on Saturday. There will be an Elvis an impersonator and a quiz, from 7.30pm, at the Billericay School, School Road. The £10 entry fee includes supper. For more information call 0845 833

  • Plan for flats block on bungalows site

    TWO bungalows in Rayleigh will be demolished and replaced by a three-storey block of 14 flats if planning permission is granted. The proposal for the site at 8 and 10 Weir Gardens is being recommended for approval at Rochford District Council's development

  • Don’t miss farcical comedy

    A FARCICAL comedy about a man, his wife, and a French mistress began a five-night run at Westcliff's Palace Theatre last night. Don't Dress For Dinner will be performed every night until Saturday, as part of the theatre's summer programme of events.

  • Rayleigh: History event

    Explore the town's history during a walk on Saturday, August 25. Rayleigh National Trust will lead the stroll, which starts at 3pm. It costs £2 per person, or £1 for National Trust members. Walkers should meet at Rayleigh Windmill, Bellingham Lane.

  • Enjoying the fruits of their labour

    THERE is no greater satisfaction than eating the fruits and vegetables of your own labour. So says allotment holder Jim Clarke. To mark National Allot-ment Week, which lasts until Friday, the Westcliff Land Cultivation Society held its annual show where

  • Children’s day of fun and fitness

    SPORTY youngsters were fit for fun when they headed to Shoeburyness High School to enjoy a day packed with football, dance and other activities. Around 100 children flocked to the school in Caulfield Road to enjoy a day-long event organised by South

  • Shower's on show for boffins

    Enthusiasts in south Essex have been using £2million of state-of-the-art technology to watch meteors no bigger than a grain of sand burning up nearly 200 miles out in space. Stargazing staff at SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems UK, based in Christopher

  • No 16-year-old PCSOs for Essex

    ESSEX Police hasn't ruled out following the Thames Valley force's controversial example and hiring 16-year-olds as police community support officers (PCSOs). But Essex Police Authority chairman Robert Chambers says he can't see it happening in the foreseeable

  • School run car ban looks a non-starter

    CAR exclusion zones around schools have been suggested to help ease to childhood obesity problems and pollution. A report by the Institute for European Environmental Policy suggests banning cars from specific areas around schools, shops and other community

  • Basildon: Community tea

    NEWCOMERS are welcome to community tea afternoons at libraries across Basildon for older, housebound, or disabled people. The libraries can provide transport to and from sessions, which are both social gatherings and a chance to browse for books with

  • Poor results needn’t dash your uni dreams

    TENSION is building in households across south Essex. Teenagers are on edge, awaiting the arrival of their A-level results later this week. For many, good grades will be a passport to college or unversity, while others will use good results to make

  • Holly will sniff out drugs at V

    MOVE over Glastonbury because Chelmsford is about to be gripped by V fever. On Saturday, an estimated 150,000 music lovers will descend on Hylands Park for the annual V Festival, and police have vowed to crack down on troublemakers. Highly-trained dogs

  • Basildon: Summer fete

    THERE will be a summer fete at Barstable Club, off Long Riding, on Monday, August 27. Toys, books, puzzles, and cat-related gifts will be on sale, from 1pm to 6pm, to raise funds for charity Cats Protection. For more information call 01268 543283.